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Our Plans For Term Four

26 July, 2011

As I said in my previous post, we don’t stick with state school terms and so we have begun term four of six for the Parnell Homeschool.

On a more structural level, we have made some significant changes. At the start of the year we were schooling five days a week (as opposed to home educating which takes place in all waking hours). After pondering what would work best for our family, praying and reading the wise words of experienced home educators, we decided to move to a nine-day-fortnight routine, with the tenth day (every second Friday) a catch up day. On the Fridays we have planned school work, our set work is a little different. Instead of reading our normal text for English we read a chapter of Grammarland. This day is also when we play our maths game.

For term four, and hopefully following, we have changed the system again, moving to an eight day fortnight. In this system we work a full five day week, and the following week we have three days of assigned work. The Thursday of that week is now our allocated catch up day with the Friday being set aside as an excursion day. We are hoping to spend some time in the city, although not necessarily every fortnight.

We are already past the two-week mark since starting term four. The first week (due to some family circumstances) was very laid back while the older children pursued some interest based studies. Zoe did some work on ballet and Reuben learnt about dinosaurs. What they learned in that week, though, was less about their chosen topics and more about skills acquisition. Reuben learnt some research skills and also completed a papier mâché project fairly independently (in other words, I did not have to get my hands all gooey with the gluey, newspapery mess).

The core part of term four commenced last week.

In Bible this term we are learning the hymn, O For A Thousand Tongues. Our memory verse is Philippians 2:5-11, however we are learning it with the aid of the Emu Music song, Highest Place. We are continuing reading through Psalms slowly and reading Leading Little Ones To God.

In English, Zoe is working through a text book that covers a wide range of skills but is focused on comprehension activities. She is continuing with three days a week of handwriting and two days of creative writing.

Reuben is working through a nineteenth century reader called Johnson’s Primer and is completing Blinky Bill copywork from Downunder Literature.

We are also reading The Wonderland of Nature, which is mostly factual but part narrative, a book far ahead of it’s time as “faction” books are quite the thing now. We read a section, focused on one creature (initially and predominantly insects) per lesson. Ideally, after each lesson we would go into our backyard and find such a creature to study and draw. In reality they are drawing pictures from illustrations in the book and photographs from other books we have on hand. As the weather warms I hope there are more critters to discover and observe.

In Maths we are continuing with allowing our children to complete a page of arithmetic questions and a page from their maths textbooks each day. Once a fortnight we play a maths game.

Our Spanish learning is relaxed at the moment, but continuing in the background. I am hoping to go back to learning verbs so we can construct sentences.

For our unit study we have started working through a book called Exploring Creation With Astronomy. The book is separated into fourteen lessons although it is expected that each lesson will take a week or two to complete, with two lessons potentially taking even longer. I am also planning to read the Gary Crew book, Bright Star, as it is a fictional story about a young girl who meets a famous Australian astronomer (whose name escapes me right now). This study of astronomy will likely take us to the end of the year and possibly also into next year.

We are planning to buy an annual membership to the Powerhouse Museum, which also gives us entry to the Powerhouse Discovery Centre and Sydney Observatory, as well as Questacon in Canberra. This will obviously enhance our astronomy studies as well as general learning.

That’s the general idea of our plans for the term although they are just that – plans. They are likely to change with changing circumstances. But that’s life really.

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